Studying in Long Beach was phenomenal. I applied six months before the start of the semester through MicroEDU at California State University in Long Beach and got an acceptance after just a few weeks. Now I only had to take care of the visa and the flight and these preparations were also done quickly. When booking flights, however, you should try to get a seat as early as possible, because the closer the departure date, the more expensive the flights. My flight cost about € 500 there and back. But as I said, if you take care of it earlier, you can also fly at a real bargain price. Get more information about California State University Long Beach on educationvv.
When you arrive in Long Beach, you get support from the American Language Institute (ALI) directly at the university. If you need help looking for accommodation, they usually have an open ear there.
I got the courses I chose straight away, although in the first week you have to go through the so-called Course Crashing, in which you collect the signatures of the various lecturers in order to be admitted to the courses. But since I’m studying journalism, I didn’t have any problems with that.
The university does offer places in the dormitory on campus, but since you always have to share a room there and the prices are quite expensive, I decided to look for an apartment with my girlfriend for the 4 months. After only a few days we found a reasonably affordable apartment in downtown Long Beach, which we became aware of through a newspaper advertisement.
If you intend to buy a car (which I would definitely recommend), it is no problem to live in downtown, because it takes 20 minutes by car to get to the campus. For students who plan to only travel by bus, I would not recommend it, as it is also relatively dangerous there and you should not necessarily take the bus at night.
In order to be able to enjoy the semester in Long Beach, which is over faster than you think, you should somehow get mobile. My girlfriend and I bought a car for about $ 2000 that took us everywhere safely for the entire 4 months. At the end of our stay we were even able to sell it a little more expensive, so it was definitely worth it. You can take the bus for free in Long Beach with the student ticket, but if you want to go to Los Angeles, you have to take the metro, which firstly takes forever and secondly is not included in the student ticket.
During our stay we also traveled a lot – San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Santa Barbara – all no problem with a car. However, if you are in the States for more than four weeks, you should get an American driver’s license. However, this only costs around $ 30 and consists only of a written test and a 15-minute driving test and is therefore manageable for everyone.
Long Beach itself also has beautiful sights and the proximity to the beach is of course worth mentioning. Personally, I even liked the beaches in Long Beach better than the ones in Los Angeles. But of course that is a matter of taste.
In any case, a trip to Venice Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach or Newport Beach is worthwhile. Huntington Beach is also one of the most famous surfing beaches and therefore particularly attractive for every surfer.
A semester abroad in the USA is expensive, there is no question about that and you should be aware of that before you apply. Nevertheless, I can say that the investment has definitely paid off for me. The tuition fees of $ 4700 have been fully reimbursed by the Bafoeg office and students who do not receive an Inlandsbafoeg should definitely apply for the Auslandsbafoeg.
In general, you should allow for $ 1000 a month for living with all the trimmings, because if you are already in the Sunshine State, you should be able to enjoy all the sights.
In conclusion, I can only say to everyone who is thinking of a semester abroad at Cal State Long Beach: give yourself a push and experience the best semester of your studies! You will never forget the experiences you made there… “Go Beach!”